March 21, 2006
I’m not sure what to make of our Sydney audience. We worked our arses off and played a really ace show, but, to me, the audience just didn’t seem very appreciative at the time. Maybe we’re crap and Sydney people are too polite, but everyone I spoke with afterward said they really enjoyed the show.
Maybe Sydney is even worse than Melbourne when it comes to showing appreciation? Maybe it’s because we were playing on Sunday afternoon, just after everyone had Kangaroo burgers? Maybe it’s because up until then, they’d only had artsy-electro-noise to entertain them?
Either way, we enjoyed ourselves. I finally got to meet Karen and Ben — Karen is Jo’s younger sister, Ben is her husband and the gig was their wedding anniversary. I met a whole bunch of pretty cool people, just like this guy, Chris. A lot of them seemed to be English, but I guess that makes sense since Ben’s from Manchester.
I also managed to befriend the two beautiful bartenders who were working at the venue, who kept my glass of whiskey full for most of the night. I was hoping to meet up with them later at The Metro, but I couldn’t get in, probably due to do with my inability to walk or talk straight.
March 21, 2006
Somewhere in the suburbs of Sydney on our way home, just a few hours after joking about how much of a pain in the arse it would be if we got a flat tyre, it happened — the rear, driver’s side tyre burst.
I pulled over by the side of the M5 Motorway, about two feet from the side of the road. Matty and I unloaded three speakerboxes, four guitars, the spare tyre, the jack, and the crowbar and, after I fumbled about with the winding mechanism, Matty jacked up the car.
We tried to remove the wheel, but had no luck. The van’s previous owner had put mag wheels on the car, and the crowbar that I had wouldn’t fit into the tight space around the nuts. I’d always assumed that mag wheels were just covers you clipped on top of your normal wheels, but I was wrong.
So, we were stuck by the freeway with a flat tyre and no way to get it off the car. By this time, Neil and Rob were at our meeting point — Krispy Kreme donuts, of course — so we asked them to get a telephone number for the NRMA. I wasn’t a member, but I thought they might be able to help us change a tyre for a small fee. Unfortunately, again, I was wrong.
At this stage, Matty took control of the situation — I was hungover, angry and very little help. He got in touch with Neil and Rob again and tried to explain that we needed a thinner crowbar, and asked them if they could find an auto store to buy one from, but I’m not sure if the message got through. Then Matty decided I was going to join the RACV, and lent me the membership fee.
An hour or so later, a tow truck showed up to carry the car from it’s dangerous position beside the freeway to a suburban shopping centre carpark. Matty went to get us some food and I waited for the NRMA guy to show up.
About two and a half hours after the tyre actually burst, our mechanic arrived and the end of this ordeal was in sight. He jacked up the car with relative ease and removed four of the five nuts. I’m not quite sure what was wrong with the fifth one, but he ended up having to snap it off with his nut-removing power drill. It was strangely satisfying to know that even if we the correct crowbar, we still couldn’t have done anything and the $170 I paid for RACV membership was, in fact, worth it.
We attached the wheel to the four remaining bolts. The mechanic assured us that the wheel would be perfectly safe for a drive to Melbourne, but also warned that I would have to get it fixed as it could become a problem.
After around three hours, we were finally back on the road. Matty wanted to skip Krispy Kreme and just get the hell out of that devil-town, but I was determined to get those donuts. I picked up three dozen (one for home, one for work and one for the family) and without question they were the best tasting donuts I’ve ever had.
March 21, 2006
We’re finally back home.
Instead of telling the stories in one big entry, I’ll break it up into a bunch of smaller ones.